'Don't open gates to fly-tippers': Hanley residents make plea to keep alleyways closed
SECURITY gates put up in a street plagued by fly-tippers could be removed – despite residents' concerns about repeated illegal dumping.
The lockable gates, to an alley in Lowther Street, Hanley, were installed by the city council to combat crime and anti-social behaviour.
But now it is investigating whether the gates – along with seven others – are still needed.
The news comes after The Sentinel reported CCTV cameras had been installed to catch fly-tippers in King Street in Fenton.
Steven Pritchard, chairman of Portland and Cobridge Residents' Association, said: "The gates have helped over the past few years to reduce the problems in a couple of the streets.
"I personally think that the fly-tippers live in the streets in question. They are dumping all kinds of rubbish. But no-one has been caught red-handed.
"Nobody has mentioned that they have seen vans driving down the alley, but I don't think taking the gates away would be helpful. It would just make it easier to fly-tip.
"It is an issue. There are some people that leave the gates open. There are many responsible residents but there are always a few bad apples and unfortunately you can't have them permanently locked."
Mr Pritchard wants the gates left in place, and is calling for more enforcement. He added: "You could have a street of 100 houses and it only takes that one resident to leave the gate open." Stoke-on-Trent City Council made 65 'gating orders' between 2006 and 2012.
Most came about following complaints from residents about crime, anti-social behaviour and fly-tipping.
The gates are usually installed at either end of an alley. Only residents of neighbouring properties have a key.
Lowther Street resident Dennis Kirkham, aged 51, said: "People keep leaving them open. We have so many problems, we have to constantly call the council. They cleared the alley just before Christmas and it is already full of rubbish, furniture and mattresses.
"It doesn't seem to make a difference what the council does, they have emptied it three or four times. I have locked the gates many times but other people leave it open."
Kerry Blackshaw, aged 47, said: "If the gates were locked then I am sure it would keep people out.
"It is such a mess back there. The gardens of the empty houses have been used as a dumping ground and unless people use the gates correctly then this will keep happening."
Other gates under review include five behind Oldfield Street in Fenton, one off Short Bambury Street, Longton and one off Parliament Row in Hanley.